This week at SFist, we learned that the once-vegan founders of Gracias Madre are back to eating meat, told you about the best breakfast sandwiches, reported that Top Chef alum Ryan Scott will be running a Castro spot, collectively grimaced at McDonald's "Gilroy Garlic Fries," and shed a single tear after San Francisco chefs were roundly snubbed at the 2016 James Beard Awards. Oh yeah, and we watched in horror as a donut shop was robbed. All that, however, barely scratched the flan surface of this week's food happenings.
Those of you looking for notes of burnt toast in your coffee will be delighted to learn that a Starbucks is slated to open in the Bayview. So reports Hoodline, which says that it is the first location for the chain in that neighborhood, and that it will be located in the Bayview Plaza. No word yet on an opening date.
In other coffee news, we learned yesterday from Eater that Verve Coffee Roasters has its eye on Duboce Triangle (Church and Market, specifically), and the cafe is looking for a summer opening.
Lombard Street is set to get a new hot pot restaurant, with Hoodline telling us that Nabe II, the second location of Inner Sunset Nabe, will feature an open floor plan and communal seating. Construction on the restaurant is expected to be finished within a month, although the opening date has yet to be announced.
Yum Yum Fish closed last year, but the site won't stay empty for too long, with Hoodline reporting that Lazy Fish And Sushi will soon call the 2181 Irving Street address home. The sushi spot was slated to open last week, but had reportedly not yet opened by the 28th of April — its stated opening date.
More in the news of openings, with three new restaurants planning to come to 1455 Market Street — the home of Uber and Square. So reports the Business Times, which notes that the restaurants will be udon shop Kagawa-Ya (run by chefs Sean Lim and Katherine Lim), Mateo's Taqueria (helmed by Matt Ishak), and an unnamed pizza cafe.
Meanwhile, Israeli street food is coming to Kearny Street, with Hoodline noting that Sababa Hot Pita Bar is slated to open this month. With an initial focus on lunch, owners Guy Eshel and Matt Semmelhack intend to bring Eshel's favorite food of pita, hummus, and various kababs to the FiDi crowd.
In news of other imminent openings, Fénix, a new Mexican spot from the Mercer Restaurant Group, was scheduled to open today according to Hoodline. Chef Mark Liberman told the publication that he hopes his sit-down restaurant focusing on non-traditional takes will find fans.
Scheduled to open tomorrow in Napa, Eater tells us of Miminashi — an Izakaya-style restaurant from chef Curtis di Fede. If you're looking to order an entire chicken as a main, this is the place.
Another high-end Japanese restaurant is slated for SoMa, with Inside Scoop reporting that Hashiri will open next week in the Mint Plaza. Executive chef Takashi Saito is in charge of the kitchen, with Kaoru Hayashi, Ryuichi Teryama, and Yasuyuki Rokuyata working to bring this second iteration (the other one is in Japan) of their restaurant to life.
Half Moon Bay Brewing, meanwhile, is making its way up the coast and is set to open a Berkeley location. Eater tells us that the brewery is launching a combination bottle shop and tap room by the name of Pacific Standard. A small food menu is expected to go along with the craft beers.
Oakland's Grand Fare Market is getting a reboot after shutting down in November, reports Inside Scoop. Owner Doug Washington is apparently looking at a June reopening, and Chris Fernandez has been tapped as the chef.
Of course, all was not rosy in the world of restaurants this week, with plenty of news of closings — one even before the restaurant got off the ground in the first place. Due to problems and construction-related delays, Inside Scoop reports that the "plant-based" Citizen Fox, which had hoped to open a restaurant and brewery on 18th and Mission Streets, will cease construction. The inability to secure permitting, it seems, sunk the project.
Eater also lets us know that Oakland's Salsipuedes closed over the weekend. Chef Marcus Krauss opened the Baja-themed restaurant last August, and Eater speculates it may not have connected with the residential neighborhood.
Rockridge's Barclays Pub is about to close down, with Inside Scoop reporting that the almost 25-year-old business is getting the boot by the building owner following an inability to come to an agreement about a new lease.
Curtis Kimball, the guy behind the Creme Brulee Cart is looking to sell his cart and business reports Inside Scoop. Apparently, after seven years at it, he's ready for a change.
Breakfast and lunch place Homage opened on Monday in the Financial District this week, Hoodline informs us, with chef David Kurtz looking for local and seasonal ingredients.
In celebratory news, the Chronicle tells us that the 17th annual SF Oyster Fest — the food and music festival that this year includes the likes of Chromeo — is happening this weekend. It all goes down in Golden Gate Park at Sharon Meadow.
Week In Reviews
In the world of booze, the Chronicle's Carolyn Jones heads to what has come to be known as Spirits Alley — a bunch of artisanal distilleries that call Alameda’s former Naval Air Station home. Jones appears to take special delight in the drinks of St. George Spirits — whose Terroir Gin may be their most popular offering. St. George, which opened in 1982, "was the first craft distiller in the country since Prohibition," and after selling off the Hangar One vodka brand now offers 15 different types of booze, including a St. George line of vodkas. Also of note, the distillery's absinthe, although it usually sells quickly. Jones, however, appears to side with the crowds and definitely recommends the gin.
Esther Mobley of the Chronicle also had some drinks, but we imagine her time drinking tiki concoctions at the Financial District's Pagan Idol was of a different sort than her gin-sipping colleague experienced at St. George. The bar is the work of Brian Sheehy, who is also behind such projects as Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse and Devil’s Acre. Mobley writes that the popular bar makes their juices in-house, and although it can take upwards of twenty minutes to get a drink, the entire place is just so much fun that it's probably worth the wait.
SF Weekly's Peter Lawrence Kane spent some time eating at Saap Ver, the Design District Thai restaurant run by chef Nutnawat Aukcarapasutanun, and was left puzzled but seemingly content. Kane writes of his repeated trouble at getting a grasp on dishes, and how bold swings at umami whiffed into "river-bottom [...] murk." Despite this, he did appear to like the food, even if it didn't fit within his "Bangkok-centric reckoning of Thai cooking." Kane appears to believe that the few months old Saap Ver is still finding its footing, but that it most certainly will find it.
For his mid-week update, Michael Bauer returned to Huxley, the 25-seat Tenderloin restaurant that opened in 2014 under chef Sara Hauman. Unfortunately (in the estimation of Bauer) Hauman left to work at Mr. Jiu’s, and the place ends us moving from three to two stars partially as a result. The Chronicle's critic doesn't appear impressed with replacement chef Manfred Wrembel's additions to the menu, and seems to take personal umbrage at the removal of the avocado toast from the menu. The asparagus, notes Bauer, is now the standout.
For his Sunday review, Bauer finds much to celebrate at Leo’s Oyster Bar. Chef-partner Jennifer Puccio focuses on oysters, as the name would suggest, but there is a full menu as well (including small plates like $12 tater tots). Despite finding several of the dishes too salty, Bauer enjoys the food as a whole and most certainly takes pleasure in the restaurant. Oh, and the "Mr. Nicholas’ Liquid Lunch" (it's a Martini accompanied with pickled vegetables) — he really likes that. Bauer gives the restaurant three stars.